Saying that "a safe environment to work and shop is a top priority,'' the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. is requesting that gun owners leave their weapons at home when in the company's offices, facilities or stores.
In a letter posted on LinkedIn, Chip Bergh recounted how a Levi's customer recently got hurt when a gun the shopper was carrying accidentally fired.
"So, while we understand the heartfelt and strongly held opinions on both sides of the gun debate,'' Bergh said, "it is with the safety and security of our employees and customers in mind that we respectfully ask people not to bring firearms into our stores, offices or facilities, even in states where it's permitted by law.''
The 163-year-old San Francisco based company becomes the latest business to enter into the fractious national debate over guns and safety. In recent years, several restaurant chains have also sought to restrict guns in their businesses, including Whataburger, which has asked diners to not openly carry guns in its eateries, and Chipotle, Panera and Starbucks, which have asked customers to not bring guns onto their premises at all, according to the Huffington Post.
Bergh emphasized that he was making "a request, not a mandate.'' But, he added, "it boils down to this: You shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes or trying on a pair of jeans.''